By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist
Is your iPhone battery always in need of a charge? Here are several tips to get more battery life from your iPhone.
A typical USB port on a computer or a vehicle offers about a 5 volt charge. However, your phone manufacturer set your device (phone, pad, etc.) to charge at a certain rate. So it’s possible to take an iPhone, with a low charge, and then plug it into your vehicle with the Ford Sync system. If you start playing USB music while plugged into the USB port for charging, you may find that the iPhone doesn’t really seem to be charging at all. If you have a “cigarette lighter” plug-in with a USB charger on it, you will get a faster charge for your device. However, you won’t be able to play the music as a USB source. You should change your Media Source to Bluetooth.
Completely turn off your Apps
Double push the Home button on the lower face of your iPhone. On the screen you’ll see small “pages” from each App that your phone is currently holding on “stand by.” Use your finger to sweep the pages up on “off” the screen. This turns off the App and (hopefully) will reduce some of the battery demand you have.
Turn off things you’re not using
Go to your Settings Folder and check to see if Wi-Fi connections and/or Bluetooth connections are on. Turn them off when not in use.
Turn on Auto-Brightness
The iPhone has an ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness of the screen based on the light around it (darker in dark places, brighter when there’s more ambient light) to both save battery and make it easier to see. Turn Auto-Brightness on and you’ll save battery because your screen will need to use less power in dark places.
Find it in the Settings app > Wallpaper & Brightness > Auto-Brightness On
Reduce Screen Brightness
While in the Wallpaper & Brightness section, you can control the default brightness of your iPhone screen with this slider. The brighter the default setting for the screen, the more battery it requires. Conserve more of your battery with a dimmer screen.
A cool feature of iOS 7 is called Background Motion. You’ve noticed as you move your iPhone, and watch the app icons and background image, you’ll see them move slightly independently of each other. This is called a parallax effect and it drains the battery. You may want to leave it on to enjoy the effect, but if not, turn it off this way:
Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > move slider to green/on
Turn Off Location Services
Another cool feature of the iPhone is its built-in GPS. This allows your phone to know where you are. This aids in getting exact driving directions, getting to your favorite restaurants, and more. It also “geo tags” your photos. For privacy you may want to turn this off. This feature needs battery power to work. If you’re not using Location Services, and don’t plan to right away, turn them off and save some power.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Slide to Off
You can also use the sliders to selectively turn on Location Services for each specific App that might need this feature (such as Weather.com, YellowPages, AroundMe).
Turn Off Other System Settings
A number of additional items located at the bottom of the location services page are located on a tab titled (System Services” can also drain the battery too quickly. Turn them off as needed.
Find it in Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Turn off Diagnostics & Usage. Also use slider to Turn Off Location-Based iAds, Setting Time Zone and others as needed.
Turn Data Push Off
The iPhone can be set to automatically suck email and other data down to it or, for some kinds of accounts, have data pushed out to it whenever new data becomes available. You’re probably realized by now that accessing wireless networks costs you battery life, so turning data push off, and thus reducing the number of times your phone connects to the network, will extend your battery’s life. With push off, you’ll need to set your email to check periodically or do it manually (see the next tip for more on this).
Find it in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Fetch New Data > Slide to Off
Check Your Email Less Often
The less often your phone accesses a network, the less battery it uses. Save battery life by setting your phone to check your email accounts less often. Try checking every hour or, if you’re really serious about saving battery, manually. Manual checks means you’ll never have email waiting for you on your phone, but you’ll also stave off the red battery icon.
Find it in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Fetch New Data > Select Your Preference
Turn off Equalizer
The iPod app on the iPhone has an Equalizer feature that can adjust music to increase or decrease bass or treble, or to improve your playback for Rock versus Classical music and so on. Don’t listen to a lot of music on your phone, then turn the equalizer off to conserve the battery.
Find it in Settings > Music > EQ > Tap off
Also, turn off the Shake to Shuffle feature if you’re trying to listen to music in your vehicle. A bumpy ride will really mess up your listening experience. Turn off iTunes Match as well. The Sync system is set up to not play “content protected” music and this iPhone feature can block you access to some of your own music.
Use An Additional Power Source
Consider getting a battery case with a built-in external battery. These will cost upwards of $50 to $80. There are dozens of other portable power sources that can help extend the battery life of your iPhone.
Do Less-Battery-Intensive Things
Finally, your interaction with your smartphone determines how quickly the battery life goes down. Talking for an extended time on your phone, watching videos, surfing the net and lots of other intensive usage for long periods of time, will drain the battery. If you need to conserve battery, limit your use of battery-intensive apps.